U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: The Hill

By Brad Plumer
15 June 2017

WASHINGTON (The New York Times) – The Energy Department is closing an office that works with other countries to develop clean energy technology, another sign of the Trump administration’s retreat on climate-related activities after its withdrawal from the Paris agreement this month.

The 11 staff members of the Office of International Climate and Technology were told this month that their positions were being eliminated, according to current and former agency employees. The office was formed in 2010 to help the United States provide technical advice to other nations seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The small office also played a lead role preparing for the annual Clean Energy Ministerial, a forum in which the United States, China, India and other countries shared insights on how best to promote energy efficiency, electric vehicles and other solutions to climate change.

Word of the closing came right before Rick Perry, the energy secretary, attended the latest Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Beijing on June 6 to 8, agency employees said.

The Energy Department did not respond to a request for comment. [more]

Energy Department Closes Office Working on Climate Change Abroad


By Devin Henry
15 June 2017

(The Hill) – The Energy Department (DOE) has shuttered its office that focuses on developing clean energy technology internationally.

An agency spokesperson said DOE is “looking for ways to consolidate the many duplicative programs that currently exist within DOE,” and that the Office of International Climate and Technology would close. […]

The office — consisting of 11 workers — opened in 2010 as a way for the U.S. to work with international allies on energy sector technology to reduce greenhouse gases.

Employees in the office work with international partners on the Clean Energy Ministerial, an annual gathering of high-polluting nations that focuses on greening the energy sector.

DOE spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said other offices within the department have international teams that could shoulder the work of the closed office.

“The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has an International Affairs team, while the International Affairs Office has a renewables team,” she said.

“The Department is looking for ways to eliminate this kind of unnecessary duplication — just like any responsible American business would.”

News of the office’s closing comes as the Trump administration moves away from climate change work, both internationally and domestically. […]

“Willfully ignoring the climate crisis is recklessly and unnecessarily dangerous for families and communities across the country, and it’s clear that Trump will stop at nothing to completely isolate the United States and irreparably damage our reputation with the rest of the world,” said John Coequyt, the global climate policy director at the Sierra Club.

“Ignorance is not diplomacy, and if Trump were acting like a leader, he would know that.” [more]

Energy Department aims to close international clean energy office

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